No Iran nuclear deal talks in Brussels on Thursday, says EU

EU says no Iran nuclear deal talks in Brussels on Thursday contradicting statement by Tehran
2 min read
The EU has contradicted an announcement by Iran's foreign ministry - which said the country's lead negotiator would go to Brussels for nuclear deal talks - by saying that no meeting will take place in Brussels on Thursday.
Talks on reviving a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers have stalled since hardline president Ebrahim Raisi was elected [source: Getty]

The EU will not hold talks in Brussels on Thursday with Iran on restarting negotiations over the nuclear deal, a spokeswoman for the bloc said, contradicting a declaration by Tehran.

Spokeswoman Nabila Massrali told AFP on Monday: "There will not be a meeting Thursday."

"At this stage, we cannot confirm if or when a meeting will take place," Massrali said.

The announcement came after Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said the country's lead nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri, would go to Brussels for discussions on Thursday.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said earlier on Monday that there was "hope that we will have preparatory meetings in Brussels in the days to come, but I cannot be sure of that".

The EU, which acts as a coordinator for the 2015 pact with world powers, has been seeking to restart talks aimed at reviving the deal, hit by the withdrawal of the US under former president Donald Trump in 2018.

Negotiations got underway in Vienna in April after Trump's successor US President Joe Biden signalled a willingness to come back on board and lift sanctions imposed by Trump.

Perspectives

But the negotiations have been suspended since June when ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi was elected president of Iran.

Tehran has repeatedly said in recent weeks that it is seeking to return to full talks soon in Vienna but has set no date for doing so amid growing impatience from the other parties.

The US has participated only indirectly in the Vienna talks, and Washington insists Iran must return to its nuclear commitments that it has been rolling back.